Childhood trauma doubles the risk of developing a serious mental disorder in adulthood

Summary: Childhood trauma greatly increases the risk of being diagnosed with a mental health disorder later in life. For emotionally abused children, anxiety was the most prevalent disorder. Trauma also increased the risk of psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder. Remarkably, those who experienced trauma during childhood were 15 times more likely to develop BPD later in life.

source: IMIM

A study conducted by researchers at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute links childhood trauma to an increased risk of developing a type of mental disorder years later.

Experiencing childhood trauma significantly increases the risk of developing a mental disorder in adulthood. Specifically, up to three times that, according to a recent study led by researchers at the Hospital del Mar Institute for Medical Research, published in the journal European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience.

The study analyzes the 14 reviews and meta-analysis published to date in specialized journals on this issue, and is the first to take into account the full range of psychiatric disorders present.

In all, the studies analyzed included more than 93,000 cases, and revealed a direct link between experiencing childhood trauma and the risk of developing mental illness later in life.

Benedict Amann, lead author of the study, a researcher in the Mental Health Research Group at IMIM del Mar and the CIBER on Mental Health (CIBERSAM) says.

The most common childhood traumas are emotional, physical and sexual abuse, as well as emotional or physical neglect and bullying, although there are many other injuries.

Suffering from one of these situations damages the brain and causes physical and psychological consequences in the form of various disorders. In the case of emotional abuse, trauma is most commonly associated with the most prevalent disorder in the population, anxiety.

But there is also a relationship between childhood trauma and other illnesses, such as psychosis, which are all associated with trauma, obsessive-compulsive disorder or bipolar disorder.

The risk of suffering from borderline personality disorder is up to fifteen times greater in the case of childhood trauma.

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Experiencing childhood trauma significantly increases the risk of developing a mental disorder in adulthood. The image is in the public domain

Trauma in adulthood is also associated with a fourfold increased risk of developing a subsequent mental disorder. However, researchers note that there is less evidence for this type of disease.

Study the patient’s history

Given these findings, Bridget Hogg, a researcher at IMIM-Hospital del Mar, a psychologist and first author of the study, believes patients need an approach that takes into account not only physical factors, but also their history.

In this sense, “It is necessary to guide the patient through the history of his life, to review what really happened to him. For the time being, we ask what does not work, but not what happened in their lives, because this requires openness to potentially painful topics, and this is avoided” .

The study also highlights the fact that other traumas such as disasters, violent deaths or family abuse can affect people, generating structural and functional changes in the brain that open the door to future mental disorders.

In addition, for people with this type of pathology who have experienced previous trauma, the course of the disease is worse. For these reasons, Dr. Aman is calling for action.

On the other hand, we must treat the psychological trauma of our patients, but we also have to take action in the political and social spheres and invest more in prevention. For example, by educating families and developing programs to prevent bullying, which is a very important risk factor in terms of suffering from a mental disorder, both for those who receive it and for those who perpetrate it.

About this neurodevelopmental and mental health research news

author: press office
source: IMIM
Contact: Press Office – IMIM
picture: The image is in the public domain

original search: Access closed.
Psychological trauma as a cross-diagnostic risk factor for mental disorder: a comprehensive meta-analysisBy Bridget Hogg et al. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience

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Psychological trauma as a cross-diagnostic risk factor for mental disorder: a comprehensive meta-analysis

This comprehensive review is the first to systematically examine trauma as a cross-diagnostic risk factor. We searched the Pubmed, Scopus, and PsycNET databases from inception to 01/05/2021 for systematic reviews/meta-analyses evaluating the association between psychological trauma and at least one diagnosed mental disorder.

We recalculated the odds ratio (OR), then rated the relationship as compelling, highly suggestive, suggestive, or weak, based on the number of cases and controls with and without trauma, and random effects. s Value, 95% confidence interval for the largest study, heterogeneity between studies, 95% prediction interval, small study effect, and over-significance bias.

Additional findings were the association between specific types of trauma and specific mental disorders, and a sensitivity analysis for childhood trauma. Transdiagnosticity was assessed using the TRANSD criteria.

The review was pre-recorded in Prospero CRD42020157308 and followed PRISMA/MOOSE guidelines.

Fourteen reviews met the inclusion criteria, consisting of 16,277 cases and 77,586 controls. Trauma fulfilled the criteria for TRANSD as a cross-diagnostic factor across different diagnostic criteria and spectra.

There was highly suggestive evidence of an association between trauma at any time point and any mental disorder (OR = 2.92) and between childhood trauma and any mental disorder (OR = 2.90).

For specific types of trauma, convincing evidence has linked physical abuse (odds ratio = 2.36) and highly suggestive evidence linking sexual abuse (odds ratio = 3.47) to a range of mental disorders, and persuasive evidence has linked emotional abuse to anxiety disorders (odds ratio = 3.05); There were no data on emotional abuse with other disorders.

These findings highlight the importance of preventing early traumatic events and providing trauma-informed care in early intervention and psychological services.

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